Tinaga Island, Calaguas

In love.. again .. and again. Calaguas Island never cease to surprise me. It was my second time to visit the place, but still, the beauty still remains.

Calaguas Island is a group of island in the province of Camarines Norte. It has islets and major islands. The most famous one is Tinaga Island, this is where the famous beach “Mahabang Buhangin” is located. Recently, number of tourist and campers has been visiting the island to experience the white powdery sands and clear blue green water despite of absence of accommodations.

When I first went to Mahabang Buhangin, it was my 22nd birthday, last January 2012. January is not a good month to visit the island, knowing Bicol as the passageway of storms and typhoons. I was actually hopeless that time, but it was planned already, and we don’t have a choice but to push through. It was a DIY trip. A total of 10-11 hours drive.

When I first went to Mahabang Buhangin, it was my 22nd birthday, last January 2012. January is not a good month to visit the island, knowing Bicol as the passageway of storms and typhoons. I was actually hopeless that time, but it was planned already, and we don’t have a choice but to push through. It was a DIY trip. A total of 10-11 hours drive.

From Pasay, we rode a bus (Philtranco) going to DAET that costs P750 = 7 hours drive. We asked the driver to drop us off to Talobatib junction. We arrived at the junction at exactly 5 AM, we waited for an hour since first trip going to Paracale Port is 6am. We had Pancit Bato for breakfast, it’s like the normal pancit but it has noodle crumbs which looks like stone. We rode a bus going to Paracale which is an hour drive from the junction. Fare is around P60-70. The port is near a talipapa on where you can buy your beach camping essentials. After market, we checked with the porter to see if there is a public boat going to Mahabang Buhangin but there was none. Luckily, a group of fisherman is going home to Brgy.Mangkawayan, a small local community at Tinaga Island. We talked to the boat owner and we were able to haggle our boat fare to P2000 for 4 persons. We are all ready to battle the waves of Pacific Ocean, despite of the heavy rain and storms, all we have was ourselves and our prayer for the trip to be safe. Normally, it will only take you 2 hours from Paracale to Mahabang Buhangin, but we had it for 3 hours.

The boatmen dropped us off to Brgy. Mangkawayan, a 30 minute walk to Mahabang Buhangin. Everyone was real exhausted, but we are all in AWE, when we saw the island. That trip was real worth the traumatic experience.

After 2 years, we went back to Calaguas, but we brought a car this time. The trip only took us 8 hours. Sadly, the place has been commercialized, with cottages, with it’s own source of power, small stores, it’s all crowded. I am just so glad I’ve been there when it was still holding it’s own natural beauty. But nothing has actually changed, the clear blue water and it’s fine powdery sands is still the best for me.

HOW TO GO TO MAHABANG BUHANGIN/CALAGUAS ISLAND

  • Terminals: Pasay, Alabang, Cubao
  • Ride a bus going to Daet P600-700 *7-8 hours (depends on where you are coming from)
  • Drop off at Talobatib Junction
  • Ride a bus going to Paracale Fish Port- P50-100 *45 mins -1 hour
  • From Paracale Fish Port – hire a small boat going to Mahabang Buhangin – P3000-P4000 (back and forth) **TIP** – The first time we went there, we hitched with the local fisherman going to Brgy.Mangcawayan (local community in Tinaga Island) which only cost us P2000 (back and forth), but dropping off at Brgy.Mangcawayan will require you to trek a long stretch of field for 30 minutes. If you opt to hire a boat that will take you directly to Mahabang Buhangin, better show off your haggling strategies *wink*
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thesaunteringlass

Jelene, 26, is a frustrated traveler and a travel junkie wannabe. If not from a far away place, Jelene can be found browsing through Google Maps with a cup of coffee on one hand.

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